This week has been incredibly hard for a number of reasons.
Work is running me into the ground, By 4 pm I am so exhausted that I fall asleep on the couch amidst MP's yells of indignation--and I feel terrible, but I can't help it. Every moment from 4:30 am on is strictly regimented and leaves no room for anything unexpected; by the time 4 pm comes around I might as well be a zombie. So work is making me suck as MP's mom because all my energy is gone to the 125 other kids I'm responsible for.
And work is literally draining me. Yesterday I pumped an impressive 11.5 ounces in two sessions; today I had to pump twice as long for only 8 ounces. I hope that drop is temporary, because it doesn't do much for my Mama morale.
Finally, work is affecting my nursing relationship. Obviously Chloe gets two-three breastmilk bottles at daycare, which means 2-3 less feedings a day that I get with her. But it seems that instead of feeding more at home to make up for missed feedings, she's either A) feeding less or B) feeding about the same but fussing constantly. Tonight she cried from about 5 pm until ten minutes ago, which was 7:50. She fed, then spit up, then fussed, sometimes getting really angry, then refused me over and over, balling up her fists in fury. I almost lost it, but then there'd be three crying females in the house and I wanted to try to be the non-crier of reason. I tried not to take it personally. I failed. I almost feel like she's pissed at my boobs for not being there all the time for her, so she's taking it out on them by refusing to eat and allow them to calm her.
Ah, Chloe is crying again. So she was not crying for about ten minutes there. Hurrah! I suspect she has bad gas, and her spit up episodes are getting worse--today I'd estimate she spit up about 3-4 ounces total (on my work clothes before work, no less. And with my wardrobe so limited--I am still 10+ disgusting lbs over pregnancy weight--that's a can of suck right there). Those torrential geysery spit ups might also be why she gets so mad at my boob--it has nothing left and she's hungry again since she just spit up so much. So working has made our nursing relationship a lot more stressed for both of us.
It's no surprise, then, that my job is not my most favorite thing right now.
And for some reason I can't yet figure out, something inside me revolts at the idea of using formula. I think about it and get panicky and sick, like one bottle of formula would mean The End of Something Huge and Important. Even just thinking about supplementing with formula makes me want to throw up and curl in a small ball. I don't get why it's so freakishly giant to me, nursing, but there you go. I hate that my job has affected our breastfeeding relationship this way, I hate that my job makes me snappish with MP, who needs me so much right now, I hate that my job is cutting into time with Random--we haven't seen each other in four days, because by the time he gets home I'm asleep (around 8 pm. Yes, it's past my bedtime now).
I can't believe I'm saying this, but I yearn for the halcyon days where I was nursing 24/7 (I thought it was impossible and yearned for the time when Chloe would be quicker and more efficient; now I want to go back to where I made her feel good as opposed to angry). Those days where I was sequestered up in my bedroom, unable to do anything but feed my baby and hang with MP having "book picnics" in air-conditioned coolness. Now I'm dealing with a cranky, tired toddler, a crankier baby, and a truckload of work (lesson plans, anyone? Grading 125 papers? WOOHOO!) and almost no motivation or energy to do much once I leave work. Basically, all my good energy is going towards work. And it sucks.
Anyway, onto the daycare shituation. We decided, after much thought, to stay with our current daycare. I read all of your replies and agreed with pretty much everything you said. But we do have a good relationship, and after talking with our provider I understood more about why they thought they couldn't do a great job with Chloe. They assured me that with the new person they hired they would be able to handle all of her needs. Plus: the new place would require me to get up twenty minutes earlier--thus, 4:10 am--and get both girls up twenty minutes earlier as well. MP is already impossible to awake at the ungodly hour of 6, and Chloe is equally reticent--the girl would now sleep 11 hours without eating overnight if she had her way. As it is I have to wake her up to get her to eat (and I hear your angry roars--how dare you wake a sleeping baby!--but really, she is sleeping from 8 am until 6 am with nary a peep, and then eats for ten minutes and crashes again, and although many of you probably hate me right now, that long stretch is not good for milk production--and if I'm still supposed to be feeding Chloe 7-8 times I day, I barely make it to 6 feedings unless I wake her at 5 am (she's somewhat restless then anyway). I try to feed her twice before leaving for work, and sometimes even feed her once I get to daycare; those are the best feedings we have. Except for when she pukes them all up, like she did today).
By Friday of that first week she was a calmer, happier baby at daycare, and they were figuring out how to zen her out, what she liked, and getting used to her. By Monday afternoon they were reluctantly handing her over, kissing her chubbo cheeks and extoling her baby virtues. So now she saves all of her pent up angst for me. Yeah!
So. Anyone want to hire me to stay at home and freelance? I'm cheap, promise. 80K will get you as many blog entries as you want. Heh.
In much better news, tomorrow is MP's Adoption Day--our two-year anniversary. Two years ago we adopted the funniest, cutest, silliest, smartest, most wonderful little girl and I can't imagine having any other kid. She can be a handful (the twos have nothing on the threes) but she is such a sweet girl and is growing up to be so bright and funny I ache thinking that she might not have been ours if things had been different at any step of our long adoption journey. So I hope to finally publish her letter tomorrow, in honor of our 2-year family anniversary. To my just-potty trained (YEAH!), hysterical, smart, beautiful, helpful, wonderful big sister, I love you.